The Sims Bustin' Out sees a greater emphasis on not only completing tasks to unlock further elements, but also moving house to climb further up the career ladder. But is this something Sim players and for that matter console players want from one of the biggest selling PC franchises?
Gameplay wise nothing much has changed since the first version of the sims came our PC screens some four years ago. You are still tasked with looking after a family making sure they wash, eat and sleep at the right times. Money is earnt through working and like before the better the mood you go to work in, the better chance you have of getting that promotion. Those who have played The Sims before will feel right at home and the game is just as addictive this time around.
Bustin' Out however does also feature “Goals” that have to be completed. Completing said tasks unlocks further elements such as new furniture, clothes and new houses or friends to visit. The new houses element is crucial in unlocking the game as there are only so many career promotions per house and only so many goals too. This makes sense in that you shouldn't really be at the top of your profession and see living at home with your mother.
For those not too fussed with the idea of set tasks to complete you can of course play the “free play” mode and better still share the burden by opting for the two-player split screen mode and this is a welcomed addition to the console version.
Controls are fairly easy to get to grips with and after a couple of minutes the camera that allows you to rotate as well as zoom is easy enough to use. On the X-Box version we tested, graphics were similar to the PC and nothing has been done to use the power of the Xbox to its fullest.
Sim management games like this one can soon become monotonous and repetitive as day in day out you pack your Sims off to work only to have to wash and feed them on their return. The inclusion of the Goals and locked elements brings a refreshing change. It actually gives you something to aim for rather than just seeing how long your characters can last without sleep.
With so many gamers out there owning a copy of this game - it has been in the PC charts for over three years - they can’t be many people out there with a computer that hasn’t played The Sims. With that in mind, with every new addition EA and Maxis has to create something unique everytime they offer a new release. This is the same old same old, but for the Xbox generation it not only gives them the chance to see what all the fuss is about, but also gives them a chance to experience those late nights PC users have been complaining about.